Campbell man found guilty of murder

YOUNGSTOWN — A jury on Friday found Mekhi Venable guilty of murder in the 2022 shooting death of Jacob Moore.

The jury deliberated for about five hours Friday, after spending about four hours Thursday discussing the case.

The jury on Friday also found Venable guilty of firearm specifications, but not guilty of aggravated murder.

Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who presided over the case that started Monday, will sentence Venable at a later date.

Venable, of Campbell, was free on $250,000 bond since April 2023 after being in the county jail for nearly six months. Sweeney revoked the bond Friday after the verdict was announced.

On Sept. 29, 2022, Venable, 20, shot Moore, of Youngstown, who was 21 at the time, on New York Avenue near Logan Avenue on the city’s North Side. The two had a confrontation near a Logan Avenue house a short time before the fatal shooting.

Venable testified Wednesday and Thursday, claiming self-defense.

During the trial, three witnesses to the shooting testified that two cars containing Moore and his friends were parked on New York Avenue in the wrong direction. When Venable arrived, he parked on the opposite side of the street, also facing the wrong direction.

Rob Andrews, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, said in his closing arguments that words were exchanged between the two before they agreed to have a “friendly fight.”

Moore agreed to give up his gun, but Venable pulled out a gun from his car, fatally shooting Moore and then drove away, Andrews said.

Police arrived a couple of minutes later, and an assault rifle and three handguns were found in the front seat of one of the cars that Moore and his friends arrived in, Andrews said.

John B. Juhasz, Venable’s attorney, said in his closing arguments that Moore walked toward his client with a pistol. Venable had to decide quickly whether to defend himself and chose to shoot Moore with a gun he kept under the seat of his car, Juhasz said.

Have an interesting story? Contact David Skolnick by email at dskolnick@vindy.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @dskolnick.


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